Only a Beginning

Pali Tunnel

Into the Abyss

The sense of loss

pushes in upon the edge of thought

altering the fate of lines,

the rings in a mandala’s design.

How many deaths do we endure

on the way to the center?

How many breaths restore

a sense of balance

for a mind spinning in circles?

Unmoored introspection

glancing out or looking within

whatever the predilection

that distorted image at the end of the portal

completes our reflection.

Thoughts, impressionable words torn from books,

lifted from venerable drawers in the earth,

bloodied, soiled, pulled from the root,

hung on the walls

like a bouquet of moss

drained of all hope,

memories, frail flowers

gone up in smoke.


The loss of a child invokes the deepest sympathy

but a choice of words cannot encompass its totality.

They cannot net, comfort nor comprehend

for no one will experience an end in the same way.

Words out of scope to its scale

varied is the infinite it will veil

in those living to one day embrace

a fragmentary trace of its meaning.

Words won’t be there to buffer the shockwaves

they cannot fill the emptiness

of standing over their graves

no word can capture the feeling

of glass wounds from a shattered ceiling

that transparant canopy of innocence

falling in shards

safety’s a house of cards

once sturdy as stone

now crumbling into sand

washing into the unknown.


Loss brings with it a sense of permenance.

No purpose to positively identify

what’s in passing.

Recurring states of arrival and departure

where endings become beginnings.

Between them we’ll suffer our goodbyes

tested by all we’ll leave behind

longing for one firm memory of cohesion

to secure as an anchor

in this turbulent harbor.


The shadow of loss creeps up behind

to follow at your heel.

Dodge the knowledge if you must

but inevitably it will reveal,

while it overtakes you,

 a mark on your life’s canvass

 a subtle residue in the lines

of your most guarded expressions.

The scent of loss in the clothes of closure

for the mother of the disappeared

only will cry when she’s alone.

Carefully tending to what she can control

planting a garden over the now gaping hole.

Scratch the surface to see the scars

the aftermath of fire, the runaway cars,

the silence of a vacant road

her baby discarded and unclothed.

Carefully examine her eyes

to find sharp inquiries

into all the questions “why?’

Why me indeed

dropped in deep pools of sorrow

deep pools from heavy rain

to gaze into her pain

and find your reflection.

She’s a precious flower of deception

facing sunsets, appearing strong

but frozen this flower

enduring the greying winter long

accepting change

as another season falls away

pictures fade and family portraits crack

enduring love fills the space

holding up what it lacks.

Holding on for so long

without letting go,

all the pain dissolves into itself

from the night she received the news

by word of mouth

that the light in her life

has suddenly blown out.

A once sound haven

now full of decay

 a harsh wind stirred up the surface

carrying the precious particles away

like a sudden impact

in the loose sea floor sand

everything swirling in the current

being carried further and further from land.


The setting sun meets the sea

giving up its deep

the sorrow from all the rivers we’ll weep.

Thoughts travelling through the tunnel into the abyss at night

reaching nothing but a terrifying insight

that the longer we live, the more we’ve lost.

We can hold a currency of words

but what does loss cost?

In terms of sadness?

Grief prayed into a cross?

Those left in the dark

long for the sun to come up again

to know somehow as they are bending

 upon the edge of night

that it isn’t an ending

but only a beginning.


2 thoughts on “Only a Beginning

  1. nicktakis2012 says:

    Dom, Very sad the element of loss in our lives ..we all have to endure.. Loss , sometimes tragic as in Tim’s death, a child… We hear stories daily and it is unthinkable that one has to endure that suffering.. But you say it’s only a beginning , in that there is life beyond…it is a beginning in that the one left looks at life in a whole different way.. They are starting anew because thir life has just been drastically changed.. Thought provoking Thanks for sharing

    Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 17:43:56 +0000 To:

    • domtakis says:

      You’re welcome. It is a hard pill to swallow the inevitability of loss in our lives. I wanted to do a piece that reflected that element that we all share. I read about people’s personal tragedies and I am moved but for me it is only words, only stories. The deeper I went into them the more personal it became and the more I was affected by it. I realized I was staring at my own reflection as a human being once I removed the separation that it was happening to someone else.

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